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Stories and concert reviews from Spirit fans

Spirit, Sebastian Beach Inn, November 22, 1996, text & photos by John Fulton Jr.

Spirit performed to a small (>100) but appreciative crowd on Friday night at the Sebastian Beach Inn. The band took the stage at about 10:30, following what appeared to be an unscheduled encore by the local band 75 Years (Nice power trio w/original music); unscheduled I believe because Randy and Ed were seen walking into the place as 75 years was doing their encore, apparently they had just arrived!

Anyway, Randy appeared tired before the show when I welcomed him (back) to Florida and asked if it was ok if I took a few photos ("Just don't flash us in the eyes, ok!") Randy was wearing a white Sweatshirt w/ a photo from "12 Dreams" on it and Mr. Cassidy was dressed in his usual Basic Black. The band consisted of Randy, Ed, Liberty (I learned later) on bass, and an unidentified keyboard player (I asked his name after the show but forgot; he said this was only his 3rd gig with the band).

After some equipment adjustments (Cass was not too happy with the house drum kit's set up), the band took off into "So Little Time to Fly"! Wonderful, one of my all time (they all are at sometime) favorite Spirit songs which I don't recall ever hearing them perform live! I knew it was gonna be a special night! Next, after a little intro by Randy about the strike in L.A. while recording the first LP, "Fresh Garbage" with the keys ringing out nicely on this one (for his 3rd gig!). Randy introduced every (or just about every) song with a brief story about its origin, and so he relayed the story of being stranded in Tampa where they were supposed to open a tour with "some English band," he didn't say who, and how a local DJ suggested they perform at the Curtis Hickson(?) Hall for $3 per person. Randy said they did, 3,000 people showed up, and they went into the studio to record "The Spirit of '76". Then they proceeded to play, another one of my favorites, "Tampa Jam, Part 1" and they did jam it out!!! concert4.jpg A few songs later and Randy introduced this next song having something to do with Mark being sick and calling his mother..."Somebody Tell My Mother...." Yeah, they played "Mechanical World" in all its offbeat, out of synch glory. From that point on it was all pretty blurry, partly the beer, mostly the band. It was a wonderful evening of beautiful music, unfortunately, it was over around midnight. But before they left, they managed to play several other Spirit Classics including "Natures Way," "Dark Eyed Woman," "I Got A Line On You" and of course "Mr. Skin"! They only played two selections from the new California Blues LP, "One World" and "We Believe" I was sort of dissappointed that we didn't get to hear more from this one, especially would have liked to hear Randy play some acoustic, but I certainly can't complain about the set...I mean, they played "Mechanical World"!!!

The band hung around for a little while after the show, sold "12 Dreams" Tee Shirts, California Blues CDs, and signed autographs. I almost forgot, they also played versions of "Red Ho